Mobile core network start-up Core Network Dynamics (CND) has announced updates to its award-winning OpenEPC multi-access core network software. The company will be showcasing OpenEPC 7.1 for the first time at the ARM Partner Ecosystem booth (Level 0 – Stand B28) at the SDN NFV World Congress 2017 (9–13 October) in The Hague. OpenEPC 7.1 adds important NFV, Non-3GPP access, production and Public Safety related features.

New NFV functionality

New NFV features include support for Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK), which boosts packet processing performance and throughput to almost wireline speeds. OpenEPC 7.1 also supports automatic deployment and configuration in OpenStack NFV infrastructure environments using either Tacker or OpenBaton as orchestrators. These features provide all the known benefits of NFV without compromising OpenEPC’s efficiency.

Non-3GPP networks with scalability

OpenEPC 7.1 also includes a complete redesign of the Wi-Fi access making it more scalable as well as supporting both VoLTE and now VoWiFi in an efficient and scalable way.

Multi-hop routing and mesh

OpenEPC 7.1 supports the dynamic reconfiguration of mobile mesh networks for voice and data using multi-hop routing. This is vital for the deployment of mobile mobile networks for use cases such as public safety, where the mesh network reconfigures itself as the cells move. The technology behind this is complex because network configuration and synchronization has to be performed frequently, rather than once per deployment.

DRA for Production Cloud environments

Working closely with a tier-one operator, CND has developed an advanced virtual Diameter Routing Agent (DRA) for cloud environments. DRA is the 3GPP’s solution for addressing the routing challenges caused by an increase of signalling in mobile networks. In cloud-native architectures, with advanced features, it also supports the decomposition of functions into microservices to make networks more manageable, resilient and scalable.

Testing tool enhancements

CND has also developed an eNodeB (base station for LTE radio) emulator which is capable of emulating several eNodeB/UEs simultaneously, for use in CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery) environments. Operators can use it as an active probing kit in a virtualized production environment as well as for testing intensively in lab environments.
Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO of Core Network Dynamics, said: “We have invested substantial resources developing the latest iteration of OpenEPC to meet market demand. The distributed mobile network space is proving to be a particularly sweet spot for CND. By integrating OpenEPC software with the radio access layer on ARM-based SoCs, a small cell becomes a complete autonomous and ultra-portable mobile network. Adding mesh connectivity with dynamic, multi-hop routing between multiple mobile EPCs creates a highly resilient swarm of fully functioning autonomous mobile networks – ideal for use cases including public safety communications, emergency services, oil and mining, construction, and IIoT.”
CND has already signed a contract with an international OEM who is developing a portable, decentralized mobile network powered by an ARM-based SoC for the public safety communications sector.
OpenEPC is a complete and resource-efficient implementation of the Evolved Packet Core (EPC), providing a core mobile network in software. OpenEPC can be used for both embedded deployments as well as carrier-grade NFV-based deployments scaling to millions of users. It is compatible with standard smartphones, tablets and laptops, providing a cost-effective option ideal for resource-constrained environments.